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Damn Fine Stuff From My Hometown - 85%

corviderrant, March 13th, 2006

SBC were unique and special in the Boston scene of the late 80s/early 90s in that they bucked the tradition of second wave hardcore we had at the time--heavy and melodic at the same time, and the first signs of metalcore was raising its ugly head courtesy of Biohazard. They specialized in insanely fast (borderline blast beat) and energetic hardcore/crossover that simply tore your face off with its rivetting intensity, and Ben Crandall's guitar sound was total Stockholm death metal worship--though he swore up and down he had never even heard of Entombed before! And Jesse "Jet" Crandall's vocals were unique to say the least, a highly melodic yet...bizarre style all his own. And this EP is a good solid example of where they were at at the time.

"Infernal Machine" starts out with a powerful stop/start staccato drum and guitar burst that settles into a steady tank-like rumble on the verses and ups the tempo on the choruses to a faster pace that explodes into a thundering climax spearheaded by gang chants of the title. Slams you right in the face like a bulldozer.

"The Way We Were" is faster and more energetic, and even a little more melodic than usual, but Ben's hideous chainsaw guitar fuzz insures it doesn't get too pretty too fast.

"Den of Iniquity" is more the style they settled into after this EP, slower and more melodic than their earliest demo material (the 1989 "Jet Metal" demo, released on both 7" and cassette format), which was off the map to say the least. This is more refined and subtle by SBC standards. Kinda boring, I'm afraid, really.

"Big Barbecue" is more like it, fast and furious and unrelenting like a machinegun--in fact this is a demo era track. Jet rants and rattles off the lyrics like a man possessed, his customary mode of delivery.

"Disco Inferno"--yes the song by the Trammps from the 70s, given the SBC treatment, exploding into a barn-burning full-throttle metal extravaganza that is actually rather amusing. It's not entirely serious, and fun as heck to listen to and scream along with--"BUUURN, BABY, BURN!!! DISCO INFERNO!!!"

It's bloody impossible to find this legendary band's stuff these days, but it's worth seeking out, especially the early material like this. Try something different this time around and see what you think.